Advice for new laptop

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Led Guardian
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Advice for new laptop

#1 Post by Led Guardian » 16 Jun 2011 05:21

I'm considering getting a new laptop this year. I figure there are at least a couple gamers on here who could give me advice. I'd like something that can play modern games well, preferably on the highest settings, and I'd like it to last at least 4 years and still be able to play games well. I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I'd like the games I do play to run well. My budget is limited and more than $1500 is probably a deal killer (holy shit Alienware is expensive). I'm hoping that these 2 parameters are not mutually exclusive. 17"+ display is a must.

I do realize that a desktop would be better, but as a student, I need a laptop. So no misplaced if well-intentioned advice about getting a desktop. :)

If anyone has a suggestion, I would appreciate it if you included the specs.

Thanks! (I hope)
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#2 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 17 Jun 2011 01:10

thinkpad w500 with radeon mobility GL graphics card is what i had til it met a glass of lemonade.

it served me well using 3d graphics, autoCAD and photoshop professionally. it also managed to run Fallout New Vegas on Ultra Graphics setting, though i set it lower after a while for better performance.

it cost me about 1,300 US$ 2 years ago, i bet you can get one on Ebay for much less than that nowadays.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#3 Post by Led Guardian » 18 Jun 2011 07:34

I'm looking toward a Sager NP8170 right now. Crap battery life, but it ought to run things at the highest settings for another couple of years. I'm hoping that the new Intel processors will be cheaper by end of the year when I'll likely get a new laptop though.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#4 Post by t.a.j. » 18 Jun 2011 10:26

No Laptop you buy now will be able to really deal well with games 4 years in the future. If you're willing to spend a lot of money and sacrifice a lot of mobility, you might get there. But for that amount of money, you could buy a highly mobile notebook and a powerful desktop pc now and another set of both in 4 years time. Imho the only reason to get a powerful gaming notebook if if you have several "home bases" between which you commonly move and at each of which you want to be able to game fully.
Hence:
You want mobile computing and you want to game at home: Get a small, highly mobile notebook and a gaming capable desktop.
You want to game at different places and do mobile computing: Get a compromise system, 15" with the most powerful mobile video card you can afford, if at all possible with a secondary graphics solution for when you want to save energy. Realize that this will not give you a 4 year gaming guarantee, nor will you be able to even play current games in the highest video settings.
You're rich? Get this: http://www.laptopspec.net/2011/03/maing ... -485m-sli/ and if you feel like this 12 lbs brick is not really a mobile computer anymore, spend another fortune of a macbook air or some such fooldudlery.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#5 Post by Led Guardian » 19 Jun 2011 18:46

t.a.j. wrote:No Laptop you buy now will be able to really deal well with games 4 years in the future. If you're willing to spend a lot of money and sacrifice a lot of mobility, you might get there. But for that amount of money, you could buy a highly mobile notebook and a powerful desktop pc now and another set of both in 4 years time. Imho the only reason to get a powerful gaming notebook if if you have several "home bases" between which you commonly move and at each of which you want to be able to game fully.
Hence:
You want mobile computing and you want to game at home: Get a small, highly mobile notebook and a gaming capable desktop.
You want to game at different places and do mobile computing: Get a compromise system, 15" with the most powerful mobile video card you can afford, if at all possible with a secondary graphics solution for when you want to save energy. Realize that this will not give you a 4 year gaming guarantee, nor will you be able to even play current games in the highest video settings.
You're rich? Get this: http://www.laptopspec.net/2011/03/maing ... -485m-sli/ and if you feel like this 12 lbs brick is not really a mobile computer anymore, spend another fortune of a macbook air or some such fooldudlery.
Yeah, I kinda realized this after I'd done a little research. It was a little pipe dream of mine. The reason being that I do like gaming in different places. At a desk, in bed, at home, at college, outside, on vacation. Can't really do all that on a desktop, which sucks, because a desktop is the only place I'll get any longer term-longevity. They are also, of course, relatively cheaper, I can easily build my own, and I can upgrade more easily. Everything I want except the ability to move.

EDIT: I'm okay with heavier laptops, but 12 lbs is ridiculous. And I can see why everyone hates how Maingears look. That thing is as aesthetically displeasing as those cheap laptops my high school had.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#6 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 26 Jun 2011 10:11

I wouldn't buy a laptop for gaming purposes at all. Laptops are for women, because they favor aesthetics over usability. They tend to overheat rather fast when they're overclocked, are more expensive than a desktop and you're not able to replace the individual parts. That last part is important because if you buy one now, chances are you'll want a new vidcard or expand the ram in 18 months in order to keep up.

So stick with a desktop for general gaming and/or invest in a handheld for portable gaming needs.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#7 Post by Led Guardian » 26 Jun 2011 18:41

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I wouldn't buy a laptop for gaming purposes at all. Laptops are for women, because they favor aesthetics over usability.
:| Or people who would rather not be rooted to a single location for gaming. I am aware of the drawbacks of laptops, I was just hoping it would be possible to get one that was powerful enough to last a while. I won't even address the main issue in that statement. I don't know where to start.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#8 Post by Desert_Storm » 26 Jun 2011 21:10

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I wouldn't buy a laptop for gaming purposes at all. Laptops are for women, because they favor aesthetics over usability.
Yeah, definitely. :roll: Especially since there's no such thing as university students who need one in class, people who have long commuting times and work during that time, people who have to have their stuff ready for presentations etc. while working in different places, (I was planning to make a list here of occupations that require a laptop, but it seems so obvious that it doesn't make much sense).
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#9 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 27 Jun 2011 00:10

i just don't understand what's so wrong with being a woman...
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#10 Post by spamel » 27 Jun 2011 01:43

Sleeping Dragon wrote:i just don't understand what's so wrong with being a woman...
Periods.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#11 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 27 Jun 2011 18:42

Desert_Storm wrote:
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I wouldn't buy a laptop for gaming purposes at all. Laptops are for women, because they favor aesthetics over usability.
Yeah, definitely. :roll: Especially since there's no such thing as university students who need one in class, people who have long commuting times and work during that time, people who have to have their stuff ready for presentations etc. while working in different places, (I was planning to make a list here of occupations that require a laptop, but it seems so obvious that it doesn't make much sense).
True enough, but none of those tasks involve anything that will tax the cpu for more than 20%. Even complex powerpoint-presentations can be given on anything from a single cpu, 512mb ram pc upwards. That's a big difference compared to a gaming pc, which necessitates an increased fanspeed, extra ventilation and the periodical replacement of parts. So to be quite honest, a laptop doesn't meet any of the demands required for heavy gaming.

@Led: ever considered the PSV when it comes out? It's supposed to be a powerhouse, roughly comparable to the PS3.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#12 Post by Desert_Storm » 27 Jun 2011 21:12

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:
Desert_Storm wrote:
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:I wouldn't buy a laptop for gaming purposes at all. Laptops are for women, because they favor aesthetics over usability.
Yeah, definitely. :roll: Especially since there's no such thing as university students who need one in class, people who have long commuting times and work during that time, people who have to have their stuff ready for presentations etc. while working in different places, (I was planning to make a list here of occupations that require a laptop, but it seems so obvious that it doesn't make much sense).
True enough, but none of those tasks involve anything that will tax the cpu for more than 20%.
Didn't claim that it would. But your sentence above seemed so wrong that I couldn't just leave it without comment ;)
And even the 20% cpu utilisation doesn't always hold. Multiple friends of mine who study natural sciences (engineering, physics etc.) had to get a new laptop when entering their university, because of some programs in that fields that (naturally) require quite a lot of computing power (physical models, rendering, etc.).

I wouldn't buy a laptop as a game station either (for the reasons listed above in this topic), but I've seen some that could easily be used to play current ego-shooters with quite high graphic settings, but I don't know how much money you have to put on the table to get them, and I don't think they will be able to run this stuff in four years (as required by Led Guardian). In fact, I don't think any off-the-shelf computer will, if you look at the development speed in the gaming industry. If I buy a low-budget PC now, I will easily be able to run stuff on it that four years ago even the most expensive machines had problems with.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#13 Post by Led Guardian » 28 Jun 2011 02:17

I'm now considering simply keeping the laptop I have for school work and stuff, and building a desktop. I won't get to game from my bed/couch/deck chair, but it'll get me the most bang for my buck, if I may be cliche.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#14 Post by bestpike » 28 Jun 2011 05:22

A laptop that can play games in 4 years doesn't exist, no matter how much money you pay. Just imagine what laptops existed 4 years ago and the games today, and you can easily see that. Even with the kind of slowed increase in gaming demands (which is being held back by current console technology), 4 years is way too much. You could buy a really good hi-res smartphone for like 500 bucks if you think it can do the tasks needed for your school (plus due to its small size you can use it everywhere and thus fill dead time), and with the rest 1k you could buy a pretty decent desktop for games.
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#15 Post by t.a.j. » 28 Jun 2011 08:11

Sleeping Dragon wrote:i just don't understand what's so wrong with being a woman...
:*
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They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
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Re: Advice for new laptop

#16 Post by t.a.j. » 28 Jun 2011 08:16

As a side note, for exactly the reasons I mentioned above (spending long stretches of time at different places), I used to go with the gaming laptop option. It was ok. I never got good quality graphics going for anything younger than a year before I bought the thing, but stuff looked good enough to enjoy most games. But the machines got old rather fast as after 3 cycles of laptops, the last one being a dedicated gaming notebook (an ASUS 73G, I think), which started having problems in cooling, the dvd drive and something else I don't remember within a week, I got wise and went shopping for a desktop and a powerful subnotebook. It's also nice of course, if you assemble your computer yourself.
http://www.gedichtblog.de
They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


Still the goddamn Batman.

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Re: Advice for new laptop

#17 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 02 Jul 2011 10:29

Yes. And there's the issue of longevity to be concerned, too. A laptop battery really isn't suited that well for heavy gaming. Under regular circumstances (occasional browsing and typewriting) a battery can last for about two years without it showing signs of tear and wear, but when using the battery for a lot of gaming you can expect it to last for about 30 mins at full charge after 6-12 months.
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Sleeping Dragon wrote:i just don't understand what's so wrong with being a woman...
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